Saturday, May 26, 2012

We're Still Paving Paradise - May Report

I checked on two construction projects near my home, the Palm Parkway bridge construction and the Drury, a.k.a. Dreary Hotel construction. I shot the Palm Parkway scenes in the early afternoon while taking the Dreary right at sunset.

Steel Beasts at Attention

I have something of a morbid fascination for these machines, which started back in the early 1960's when I first read Ted Sturgeon's "Killdozer". My dad had signed me up for the Science Fiction Book Club, and the first two books I received were anthologies containing science fiction treasures from the 40s and 50s. Buried in those tomes were that story along with Phillip K. Dick's "The Father Thing". Both of them scared the living daylights out of me. I quickly got over the fright, but both stories have left a life-long lasting impression. That experience is one reason I like to shoot brooding, menacing photos of construction equipment and keep away from arthropods of all stripes.

Swept Clean

Looking back from the expressway towards Palm Parkway, you can see that all the berms originally created to hold water have been leveled. All that remains is a lot of level sand, and the three main pieces of construction equipment near the parkway.

The Florida Henges

I had planed on just shooting over the fence to the land next to I-4, but the crew had managed to boggle the gate hing, which allowed me to easily slip to the other side and get a lot closer to the area. You can see the nearly fallen gate in the very back. These are the pylons that have been driven into the sandy soil, and that will become part of the bulwark for the Palm Parkway side of the bridge.

Across I-4

This shot is from the Palm Parkway side of I-4, across the expressway, and to the other side where similar construction is taking place. The I-4 divider has already been blocked off, in preparation for a set of pylons to be emplaced for the center section of the bridge. Beams will span from either side of I-4 and be supported by the center section to be built.

So far nothing else is happening on the Palm Parkway side with regards to other development. It's still the long and wide sandy stretch of cleared land surrounded by piney woods on both sides.

Dreary Inn Painted

The Dreary/Drury Inn has turned into the ugliest building I've seen in some time. There are a few much older buildings that would vie for the title of Ugliest Building In Orlando, but this one, with its faux Brutalist design and ugly colors is right up there with some of the best/worst.

Nouveau Industrial with Windows

The sun was quickly setting, so as I was walking up the sidewalk next to the construction site I was treated to this view that reminded me of an old industrial district near downtown Atlanta. Those crates in the near foreground behind the pipes look to be bathroom sets for the rooms, but stacked out front between the piping and the buildings makes it look nice and industrial.

Technical

I'm now into fully using both µ4/3rds bodies, the E-P2 and the E-PL1. While tramping around the Palm Parkway construction area it was a lot easier having both of those bodies slung across my shoulders than it would have been with an E-1 with a 12-60mm and an E-3 with a 50-200mm. I could literally tuck in the Pens with their small lenses (14mm and 45mm) in close and not worry about banging gear into anything, including each other. Although there are some who swear by the VF-2 and won't use a Pen without one, I prefer to frame with the back LCD and keep an eye on exposure using the live histogram. Anything out of the ordinary I can take care of in post. Sorry, but that's little different then when I used film; I could take care of any problems with dodging and burning and the selection of print paper.

The two lenses I used today across both bodies were the Panasonic 14mm and the M.Zuiko 45mm. Although there are many who swear by the superiority of the E-PL1's sensor vs that in the E-P2, I can't tell the difference. But I will say this, they both work fabulous for me. Picking up that E-PL1 for $150 has got to be the best camera bargain yet.

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